Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors by Chris Barton

(This week I'm doing my first series, and it's books that I found delightful. I mean this in the best possible way: books that filled me with delight. This came about organically; I realized I was using 'delightful' to describe a lot of the books I was using, and rather than reaching for a thesaurus I'm going to embrace it.)

When I think of Day-Glo colours, I think of one person: Claudia Kishi. Now, though, I will think of Bob and Joe Switzer, the brothers behind the development of Day-Glo colours. Bob wanted to be a doctor, but an accident left him unable to memorize all of the scientific info he needed for medical school. Joe wanted to be an entertainer, and worked at perfecting illusions using light and dark. Together they used each others' strengths to develop Day-Glo paint - and the colour world would never be the same again!

This is just a great book. I loved learning about the people behind Day-Glo, and all of its practical uses. While at times it seemed to run a bit to hyperbole (the book stops just short of saying that without Day-Glo paint, the Nazis would have won WWII), the energetic, informative tone was perfect for the subject matter. The illustrations and colouring by Tony Persiani added a fun layer to the text: the pictures start out in black and white, but as the brothers develop their paint yellow, green, and orange Day-Glo colours are added to the illustrations. There's a bit of information about Day-Glo colours at the back of the book, along with places for more information. If you think your reading needs a bit more colour, definitely check this one out.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Moonshot by Brian Floca
It's a Snap! George Eastman's First Photograph by Monica Kulling
The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull
Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton

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